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Sunday 2 September 2012

Glenda Deaf To Reality

Of the pundits enjoying the Paralympic Games, none is more unexpected than the Mail’s most credibility free Glenda: yes, even Liz Jones has something to say about the event. She attempts to be truly earnest in her endeavour. But, as ever, the article ends up being not about sport, or about overcoming adversity, or national pride, but about Herself Personally Now.

What do you think of it so far?

I’m profoundly deaf. So why can’t I be in the Paralympics?” she protests in the headline. Well, at a guess, it might have something to do with you not doing any training, not entering any events, not registering your interest with the relevant authorities, and otherwise spending all your time looking after your farm and menagerie and writing drivel for the Mail. Just a thought.

But Ms Jones empathises with all those less than totally able people, right? Well, I wouldn’t be too sure: “When my mum came to stay with me in London, I complained loudly about the track marks  on my wooden floor from her wheelchair. It was a shame she was not also deaf, then she would have been unable to hear my moaning about the damage, or the special equipment needed in my designer bathroom”.

No, I’ve not been selectively editing her remarks. That’s what she wrote. And note that, despite the protestations of deafness, she is aware that she is complaining loudly. She might also be aware that she protests rather too much about folks like David Beckham being made “Paralympic ambassadors”, because he’s not disabled, which means she should take precedence because she’s a bit more disabled.

And I’m not sure that being unable to hear the upper register of the aural spectrum, which Ms Jones claims affects her, equals “profound deafness”. Nor am I convinced by her assertion that “there are no hearing-impaired athletes at these games”. There were three members of the USA Olympic team who have impaired hearing. Yes, members of the regular Olympic team.

Because that’s what Liz Jones has totally wrong: hearing impairment is not the same as bodily impairment. Those with loss of hearing can still run, jump, throw, swim, dive, row and ride. So why should they be part of the Paralympics, unless they also share the kind of physical impairment that would quality them? If they are able to compete with the best, then they would enter the Olympics. End of story.

No, what Liz Jones has done – yet again – is to take a condition affecting Herself Personally Now, fail to do any research or otherwise engage brain before scribbling, and conclude that the world is the wrong shape. It’s just another example of her parading and projecting her innate selfishness. And, although her columns are all about her, the real world is not.

So that’s another Glenda who needs to do her homework and get a life.

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